Re-Orientation Day

A Day of Community Thinking on Race, Art and Practice at the School for the Contemporary Arts
September 9, 2021 | GCA Lobby, Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre & Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema

What strategies and tactics can be produced towards decolonizing our institution? How can we develop a practice together that invokes solidarity, support, antiracism? What is our responsibility as artists? We ask that instructors and students pause coursework to join in a day-long series of events to consider these questions.


9:30 AM – 10:30 AM: Coffee reception
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM: Welcome and talk by Elder Syexwáliya
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM: Screening: The Road Forward (Marie Clements, 2017, NFB, 1hr 41m), introduced by Dr. Joseph Clark
2:30 PM – 3:50 PM: Opening remarks by Yani Kong + BIPOC Alumni Panel
4:00 PM – 5:30 PM: Temperature Check: School Discussion with Raymond Boisjoly


Brianna Bernard
Justine Chambers
Roxanne Charles
Tin Gamboa
Erika Mitsuhashi
Justin Ramsay
Faune Ybarra

Moderator: Dr. Henry Daniel

Please note: This event is only open to all SCA students, faculty, instructors, and staff. We'll be streaming the event live across different rooms in the building to increase our attendance capacity. If you're unable to attend in person, however, we've sent a link to the Zoom Webinar to all SCA faculty and instructors, and they'll forward it to their class lists.


Brianna Bernard is a third-year undergraduate student aiming for her bachelor’s degree of fine arts, in the Theatre Production & Design stream. She specializes in audio design, along with a developing interest in stage design. Taking it one step at a time, Brianna is still discovering the impact of her Black identity in her day-to-day life.

Raymond Boisjoly (SCA Assistant Professor| Visual Art) is an Indigenous artist and citizen of the Haida Nation, based in Vancouver. His work is derived from his training in photography. He uses screens, scanners, photocopiers, and inkjet printers to capture technological processes together with subject matter centered on cultural propriety, humour, and poetic-prophetic texts of mysterious origins.

Justine Chambers is a dance artist living and working on the unceded Coast Salish territories of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Her movement-based practice considers how choreography can be an empathic practice rooted in collaborative creation, close observation, and the body as a site of a cumulative embodied archive. Privileging what is felt over what is seen, she works with dances “that are already there”–the social choreographies present in the everyday. Her choreographic projects have been presented at the Nanaimo Art Gallery, Artspeak (Vancouver), Hong Kong Arts Festival, the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery at Haverford College, Agora de la Danse (Montréal), Festival of New Dance (St. John’s), Mile Zero Dance Society (Edmonton), Dancing on the Edge (Vancouver), Canada Dance Festival (Ottawa), Dance in Vancouver, The Western Front, and the Vancouver Art Gallery. She is Max Tyler-Hite’s mother.

Roxanne Charles of Semiahmoo First Nation is a cultural historian implying means of visual representation, oral history, and ceremony. Methods which have been utilized by Semiahma People for thousands of years. Roxanne holds two undergraduate degrees from Kwantlen Polytechnic University and is currently completing her Master of Fine Arts at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver. Roxanne’s work directly responds to a troubling colonial present and documents a variety of issues that reflect her life experiences such as spirituality, identity, urbanization, food security, resource extraction, trauma, and various forms of systemic violence.

Dr. Joseph Clark is a lecturer in film studies at Simon Fraser University. His research and teaching interests focus on archival and non-theatrical media, including newsreels, home movies, and sponsored film. He is a long-time member of the DOXA Documentary Film Festival Programming Committee and part of the organizing committee of the Vancouver Podcast Festival presented by DOXA. He is the author of News Parade: The American Newsreel and the World as Spectacle.

Dr. Henry Daniel (SCA Professor | Dance) is an artist/scholar with a teaching and research specialty in Dance, Performance Studies and New Technology. He teaches at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. His work strives to prepare students to be knowledgeable and well informed, articulate, as well as expert practitioners in their chosen discipline by exposing them to an arts education seen through the lens of arts practice as research. Dr Daniel also uses his funded projects as platforms for introducing both undergraduate and graduate students to the professional world. Through these projects they have the opportunity to establish first hand contact with other academics and artists working within as well as outside a university setting.

Tin Gamboa is a Filipina dance artist who resides as an uninvited guest on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tseil-Waututh First Nations. As a member of the diaspora who was born and raised in Manila, Philippines, till the age of 18, she is interested in understanding the body's positionality and relationality to other beings within time and space. Intrigued by Yolanda Covington-Ward's prompt to begin with the body as the centre, conduit, and catalyst for reflection, Tin delves into mundane gestures and stories to explore the realm of ethnographic choreography. She appreciates safe spaces for reflection on ideas and patterns imprinted on the body, in relation to larger societal frameworks. Tin is currently supplementing embodied understanding with theory and research as a Master of Fine Arts Candidate at SFU, taking courses that fall within Contemporary Arts, Indigenous Studies, Urban Studies, and Anthropology.

Yani Kong is a SSHRC Doctoral Fellow of Contemporary Arts at the School for the Contemporary Arts, SFU. Her research areas are aesthetics and reception philosophy in relation to the arts of the present. Her academic practice develops a methodology for viewing contemporary art that utilizes Spinozan Ethics to centre the powers of the viewing body as it encounters an artwork, theorizing how we combine with the art we see, learn from it, and move these capacities elsewhere. Kong is an instructor of art history and cultural theory, the managing editor of the Comparative Media Arts Journal, and a writer, editor, and critic for multiple Canadian art publications such as Public Parking and Galleries West.

Erika Mitsuhashi is a dance artist based based in on the unceded territories of the Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw), Tsleil-Waututh (səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ) and Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm) Nations. Her practice spans disciplines using the body as a site for conceptual thematics including in-betweenness and intimacy. She often utilizes DIY performance tactics to observe what the materiality of bodies/spaces can reveal. She works a lot in collaboration and in community with artists Alexa Mardon (Mardon + Mitsuhashi), Francesca Frewer and is co-artistic director of Farouche collective. Her work and collaborative projects have been presented locally and internationally by PAUL Studios Berlin, Toronto Love-In, Surrey Art Gallery, Halifax’s Kinetic Studio, VIVO Media Arts, New Works and La Serre's OFFTA festival of live art. As a performer, she has had the pleasure of interpreting the work of artists including Justine A. Chambers, Ziyian Kwan, Sasha Kleinplatz, Rob Kitsos, Vanessa Goodman and Judith Garay. She holds a BFA in dance from SFU School for the Contemporary Arts.

Justin Ramsey is a curator living and working on unceded territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm, and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ Nations. His interests include identity formation and performance, gender-queerness, and issues of visibility and exclusion within the visual arts. Ramsey is Curator at The Polygon Gallery, and holds a Masters of Arts in Comparative Media Arts (2015) from Simon Fraser University.

As taught by her late grandparents, Syexwáliya (Ann Whonnock | Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw / Squamish Nation) supports families and shares cultural teachings and protocols within and outside of her community. Her passion is to see that Squamish culture, language and ceremonies continue to be the cornerstone of the Nation for future generations and the culture carried on by future generations and her snichim (language) to be used, not only by herself, but for all the families and future generations in their daily lives and ceremonies. Let's not let our Culture and Snichim die out!

Currently dwelling in Vancouver, Faune Ybarra is a diasporic artist originally from Oaxaca and Mexico City. Due to the experience of constantly moving and adapting, Ybarra conceives of her body as a site of translation from which she attempts to communicate with the other-than-human. Her iterative practice rejects the (art) object as destiny and instead speculates on how nomadic creative methodologies converge to document motion. Past repositories of her work have taken the shape of performance, photo-based objects, and diasporic gestures.


The School for the Contemporary Arts recognizes that we are on the unceded and occupied territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

September 09, 2021